independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Rocca's major London asset is sold for less than value of debt

Patrick and Annette Rocca in 2005

A MAJOR London property asset formerly owned by the late developer Patrick Rocca has been sold for £64.5m (€75m), less than the amount of debt owed on the building.

High-profile developer Rocca took his own life in 2009 and news of the death made headlines around the world. Former US president Bill Clinton knew Mr Rocca and paid tribute to him in a 2011 speech.

The Lloyds Chambers office building close to the Tower of London has been bought by a consortium backed by China's Fuson Property and former US Treasury Secretary John Snow.

Patrick Rocca bought the Lloyds Chambers building in 2007, backed by £122m of debt, raised mainly from global bank Credit Suisse.

It was among a slew of top-of-the market London property deals by Irish developers.

The building has now been sold through agents Savills and CBRE on behalf of lenders, including Credit Suisse.

The sale makes it the latest case of a London property backed by Irish investors a decade ago now being acquired by Chinese buyers.

In June, the China-based Dalian Wanda Group bought One Nine Elms in London from Green Property for £90m.

Lenders appointed receivers from Ernst & Young to formally take control of the Lloyds Chambers property last Tuesday and they exchanged sale contracts the following day, according to a notice posted on the Irish Stock Exchange.

The sale price is well below the reported asking price of £77m for the building.

Irish Independent

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